Kiev, Ukraine: The Ultimate City Guide
Ukraine's capital Kiev is one of the oldest cities in Europe. Long before Ukraine and Russia came into being, the Dnipro River meandered its way through the length and breadth of Eastern Slavic terrain. Fast forward to today, and the city is considered a must-visit in Eastern Europe. Full of undiscovered treasures; Kiev is a metropolis of contrasts, boasting a skyline dotted with ancient gold domes and post-Soviet housing blocks alike, in a nod to the city’s lengthy past. A stunning cityscape brimming with history and culture, modern Kiev is full of energy, vastly untethered by politics past and present. Discover this incredibly hip city's vigour with our top tips.
What to see
St Sophia's Cathedral
St Sophia's takes the crown as Kiev's oldest standing church. This well-known landmark is beautiful both inside and out, boasting distinctive original mosaics and paintings going back as far as 1017.
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Another jaw-dropper, this stunning gold-domed monastery sits on 28 hectares of lush hills above the Dnipro River in Pechersk.
What to do
This world-class gallery has an extensive contemporary collection. Art world heavyweights like Antony Gormley and Damian Hirst have all held exhibitions at the infamous cultural hub.
Kurazh Bazar Flea Market
Make sure you're in town for Kiev's biggest and best flea market. Kurazh Bazar is a monthly market packed with 400 stalls showcasing new and used clothes, antiques and various trinkets. This Aladdin's cave of discounted treasures also boasts street food, live music and kids' activities.
What to eat
It wouldn't be right to not mention the humble chicken kiev aka the dish that shot the city of Kiev up the culinary ranks. We're eternally in debt to the Ukrainians for this typical seventies dish, so much so, that we've bumped it to the top of our must-eat list.
For those with a sweet tooth, it would be criminal to visit Kiev without sampling traditional syrniki. Typically served for breakfast or dessert, these cheese-based pancakes are best served with honey, jam or a dollop of cream.
What to drink
Hitting the town? Our tipple of choice is Horilka. The strong spirit is flavoured with pepper and honey and packs a real punch. This wonderful concoction is synonymous with Kiev's increasingly popular, yet often rather raucous nightlife scene. If you don't fancy falling out of the more popular clubs like Alchemist or Closer, try Pink Freud. Designed by mixologists, the bespoke menu flaunts a collection of unique drinks to suit every mood.